THE RIGHT - AND WRONG - STUFF
How Brilliant Careers are Made and Un-Made
Nearly a quarter century ago Carter Cast seemed to have it all together: a first class education, an all-American athlete, a very bright and energetic rising star on the fast track at a Fortune 100 company, PepsiCo. But blissfully unaware of how negative perceptions were being shaped he was stunned when called into his boss's office, and told he was "un-promotable" because he was "obstinate," "resistant," and "insubordinate."
Baffled, scared and embarrassed, that defining moment - from which he eventually recovered to become marketing director - led to Cast's years-long effort trying to understand why he went off-the rails, discovering that what he saw as something idiosyncratic is actually widespread. His research shows that 98 percent of people have at least one "derailment" risk factor and that half to two-thirds actually go off the rails
More often than not, people get fired, demoted or plateau not because they lack the "right stuff" but that they let the "wrong stuff" act out. Derailment often afflicts talented people who are either unaware of a debilitating weakness or an interpersonal blind spot or are arrogant enough to believe that feedback doesn't apply to them. They are "knocked off the track" due to a lack of self-awareness around an interpersonal issue or a key skill gap and an unwillingness, once confronted with it, to adjust their behavior accordingly. It is often hubris - not lack of talent - that causes people on the rise to fall.
Cast first shows how to recognize that the fault is not in the stars but yourself and then examines what high performers with the "right stuff" do that career derailers do not, providing ways to improve self-understanding, digging into topics like values, needs and motives, and laying out eight ways to take charge of your own career.
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